Two weeks ago, Myra had started writing about Roald Dahl, the bits and pieces in his life that allow us to see who he is beyond the magical pages of his books. The following trivia were taken from the back page of Esio Trot, one of the books from my Dahl box set.
Roald Dahl says:
“I am totally convinced that most grown-ups have completely forgotten what it is like to be a child between the ages of five and ten… I can remember exactly what it was like. I am certain I can.”
- Roald Dahl and his daily routine. Roald Dahl had a very strict daily routine. He would eat breakfast in bed and open his post. At 10:30 a.m. he would walk through the garden to his writing hut and work until 12 p.m. when he went back to the house for lunch—typically, a gin and tonic followed by Norwegian prawns with mayonnaise and lettuce. At the end of every meal, Roald and his family had a chocolate bar chosen from a red plastic box.
- Roald Dahl and his evening routine. After a snooze, he would take a flask of tea back to the writing hut and work from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. He would be back at the house at exactly six o’ clock, ready for his dinner.
- Roald Dahl and his pencils. He always wrote in pencil and only ever used a very particular kind of yellow pencil with a rubber on the end. Before he started writing, Roald made sure he had six sharpened pencils in a jar by his side. They lasted for two hours before needing to be resharpened.
- Roald Dahl and his paper. Roald was very particular about the kind of paper he used as well. He wrote all of his books on American yellow legal pads, which were sent to him from New York. He wrote and rewrote until he was sure that every word was just right. A lot of yellow paper was thrown away. Once a month, when his large wastepaper basket was full to overflowing, he made a bonfire just outside his writing hut (where one of the white walls was soon streaked with black soot).
- Roald Dahl and his finished projects. Once Roald Dahl had finished writing a book, he gave the pile of yellow scribbled paper to Wendy, his secretary, and she turned it into a neat printed manuscript to send to his publisher.
Do you know of any other tidbits and trivia about Roald Dahl? We’d love to hear them.